US continues winning
Jun 28, 2004
U.S. continues winning ways with 6-0 victory
ST. LOUIS, MO – Recording its tenth consecutive shutout victory, the USA Softball Olympic team improved to 41-0 on Monday night with a 6-0 decision against the St. Louis All-Stars. Standing room only at ABC Park, the Red, White and Blue continued along the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour where they have outscored opponents 365-11 and pushed their pre-Olympic tour win streak 155 dating back to 1996.
The wheels of lead-off hitter Natasha Watley (Irvine, CA) led the U.S. in the bottom of the first inning with a double to leftfield, her 10th of the tour. Battling the St. Louis All-Stars pitcher Casey Hunter, who will be a senior at Florida State University next season, Leah O’Brien-Amico (Chino Hills, CA) then bolted a line drive inside the park home run to left field to take an early 2-0 advantage.
The All Stars saw its only runner in scoring position in the top of the fourth thanks to a base hit by Stephanie Cepicky that later advanced a runner to second base.
Held scoreless through the second and third innings, the U.S. bats struck again with three runs in the fourth. Beginning with a walk to Jessica Mendoza (Camarillo, CA) and a Laura Berg (Santa Fe Springs, CA) blooper base hit between the shortstop and third baseman, the U.S. put two runners aboard before Watley connected on a two RBI single through the right side. Her second stolen base of the game, 16th of the tour, Watley then advanced to second while Crystl Bustos (Canyon Country, CA) contributed a triple to right center to plate Watley for the 5-0 lead.
The Red, White and Blue added the sixth and final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth after loading the bases thanks to an All-Star fielding error and back-to-back hits from Mendoza and Berg. An RBI groundout from Watley, who finished with a team high three RBI, plated Kretschman for the 6-0 margin of victory.
Winning pitcher Lori Harrigan (Las Vegas, NV) moved to 7-0 allowing just two hits in the contest while recording 11 strikeouts. Watley, Berg and Bustos each contributed two hits a piece.
Just one month before departure to Athens, Greece, Team USA will continue to prepare along the ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour traveling to Normal, IL for competition on Wednesday, June 30.